Major U.S. company laid off almost entire workforce via text

In the days before Thanksgiving, United Furniture Industries laid off nearly its entire workforce. 

Approximately 2,700 workers lost their jobs on Monday, according to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. 

Workers at the company, one of the nation’s largest furniture companies, received an email and text message late Monday night instructing them not to report to work the following day. 

A follow-up email from United Furniture Industries said the layoff is “expected to be permanent, and all benefits will be terminated immediately without COBRA.”

The COBRA law gives people who lose their jobs the option to keep their employer-sponsored health insurance coverage.

It is likely that most of those who were fired were asleep when the emails were sent, and some never even had a chance to read them before going to work on Tuesday. 

Delivery drivers were asked to return to a United Furniture location immediately to turn in their vehicles.

In a statement, the chairman of the board of directors explained the layoffs as a result of “unforeseen business circumstances.” 

There were no other details provided, and requests for comment did not immediately respond.

There were also layoffs at United’s North Carolina and California locations.

“That rocks your world when something like that happens. That’s just not cool,” said Marcus Nivens, a former employee. 

Over the summer, United laid off 300 employees.

One former employee has taken legal action over the mass firings, according to FreightWaves.

Okolona, Miss.-based United Furniture Industries makes furniture under its brand and under the Lane Home Furnishings label. 

The brand was acquired for an undisclosed amount in 2017 from Heritage Home Group LLC